Summary: There is a single concept that can help you more fully understand your Bible. It is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Understanding Your Bible
1 Cor. 15:1-4
For years scholars were baffled by the inscriptions in the Egyptian pyramids. Then in 1799, a soldier in Napoleon’s army found the Rosetta Stone. The stone was marked with inscriptions in Greek and in two Egyptians languages. It became the key to understanding the inscriptions in the pyramids. The cross is the key that unlocks the Bible for us. Until we understand it, we cannot fully understand Scripture.
No book has been of greater value than the Bible, but no book has been more abused and misquoted than the Bible. Shootings of abortion providers, slavery and segregation, religious violence, and even immorality have all been “justified” by people who cite biblical authority. We know these things cannot be right, but we are not confident in our own understanding of Scripture. There is a single concept that can help you more fully understand your Bible. It is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Just as Look Out Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers a stunning view of several surrounding states, so Calvary gives you a clear view of the Bible.
I. The Cross Reveals the Central Figure of the Bible (v. 3)
a. The cross puts the spotlight on Jesus
i. He is the central figure of the Bible.
ii. As important as Moses, David, Joshua, Peter, Paul and all others are, Jesus is the “star” in the Bible.
b. Those who read the Bible come to the cross like those who “rubber-neck” a tragic auto accident.
i. We think, “poor wretch” what did He do to deserve this?”
ii. And then we hear Him pray for those who are killing Him, and promise paradise to a dying thief, and proclaim, “it is finished!”
iii. Our mouths drop in horror: this is God!
iv. And we know that all that has gone before and all that will come after is about Him.
II. The Cross Solves the Supreme Problem of the Bible (v. 3)
a. Sin is the central problem of the Bible.
i. It appears in the opening pages and its examples and impact are constant theme.
ii. The plot of the Bible is how to solve the problem of sin.
iii. The cross is God’s solution to the problem of sin.
b. The impact of sin is obvious in our lives.
i. Solving its problem becomes a matter of critical importance to our daily affairs.
ii. This is the reason the Bible is so valuable to us: it tells us how to solve the sin problem.
iii. When we come to the cross we find, at last, something that can help us.
iv. Jesus forgives and breaks the power of sin over us at the cross.
III. The Cross Demonstrates the Supernatural Nature of the Bible (v. 3)
a. Christ died on the cross according to what the Bible had promised.
i. It is important to realize that the cross was not “plan B”, not was it something merely forced upon Jesus that He could not avoid.
ii. Thousands of years prior to His crucifixion the Bible foretold its occurrence.
b. Critics question the supernatural nature of the Bible
i. It may happen in school, at work, or even in the quietness of our reflections on the Bible’s moral demands.
ii. “Why give credence to the expectations in the Bible?”
iii. Countless prophecies fulfilled remind us: this is not an ordinary book.
iv. It is God’s Word.
IV. The Cross Provides for a Spiritual Understanding of the Bible (vv. 1-2)
a. In the first 2 verse in this chapter, Paul reminds the Corinthians that they had been saved by the preaching of the cross.
i. This made them “spiritual” people with “spiritual” understanding.
ii. Some of them had grown up hearing the Old Testament read and taught; others had never heard a verse of Scripture prior to hearing the gospel.
iii. But because of the cross, they could now understand their Bibles in the way God meant them to be understood.
b. The Bible will be at best, good advice until the cross has impacted your life.
i. At worst, the Bible will be gibberish until you have received Christ as your Savior.
ii. At that point you establish a relationship with the author of the Bible and begin to understand it as you understand Him.
Many of you have multiple Bibles in your homes. Some of you have bought Bibles, because you hoped this or that one would be more easily understood than another. And rightly so. However, to understand the Bible you must begin at the cross of Jesus Christ. There you will see Him as the central figure of Scripture. You will receive the help you need with your own sins, and you will realize that this truly is a supernatural book.